No boost from Vermont gay weddings

Toppers on a lesbian wedding cake

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Starting today, same-sex couples can legally marry in Vermont. That should mean big business for Vermont's gay-friendly tourism industry, right? Not necessarily. From Vermont Public Radio, Ross Sneyd reports.


Ross Sneyd: Last summer, Michael and Jace Sheppard had 80 guests at their poolside civil union. Jace Sheppard says now, they'll exchange the same rings in a small ceremony at home. But that's the most they plan to do.

Jace Sheppard: Mostly because of the big event that we made it before and the amount of money that we spent. And now that that money is not available anymore.

And that means no big bonanza for the travel industry like there was in 2000, when Vermont was the only state where same-sex partners could have legal ceremonies.

Tim Shea is with the Burlington area Chamber of Commerce:

Tim Shea: Unlike nine years ago, it doesn't appear so far that there's been immediate demand. But we're hopeful over time that Vermont will continue to be a popular place for weddings.

More than 80 percent of Vermont's civil unions were between out-of-state couples. But now, there's stiff competition. By the end of the year, same-sex marriage will be legal in four other New England states.

From Burlington, Vt., I'm Ross Sneyd for Marketplace.

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